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Energy related participatory methodologies are developed to mobilize target communities

New methodologies for participatory assessment of the Energy situation in villages were introduced during two workshops in Georgia (06. – 08. May) and Ukraine (31. of May – 02. of June)

23.06.2011 |Anna Samwel

The partners have received new participatory tools to conduct needs assessments and awareness raising on the current use of energy and energy efficient technologies in their target villages, involving different stakeholders and with a special focus on gender..

The Center for Development and Environment (CDE) developed a manual designed to the purposes of the work of WECF and partners on thermal solar and energy efficiency technologies. The manual consists of 7 exercises relating to the local energy perception and use. The manual was introduced to the project partners in two workshops: one in Georgia and one in Ukraine. The three day workshops were conducted as part of the project ‘Building local capacity for Development of Thermal solar and insulation technologies', financed by the European Commission,

During the first day of the workshop the manual was introduced and some exercises were tested. The second day the people from the target communities were invited and some selected exercises were carried out together facilitated by the project partner NGO’s. The third day an evaluation took place of the manual, and further project planning. The monitoring strategy was discussed with the partners as integral part of the project. Concepts on participatory monitoring by beneficiaries as well as surveys and monitoring sheets were developed.

In both countries the day that was spend with the target community raised a lot of interest among the participants. Through the exercises the participants found out for the first time how much money they actually spend on energy. The high consumption of fire wood leads to deforestation and environmental degradation, as was demonstrated by photographs taken by community members. Automatically, the discussion led to the fact that energy resources should be used more efficiently, and that alternative energy sources should be sought to improve health, comfort, the household budget and the environment.

In Georgia the workshop took place in village Khamiskuri, Khobi region, organized by RCDA. The resource center for water, sanitation and energy technologies established in a previous project was offering the venue. The participants were accommodated with local families trained in rural tourism by RCDA.
In Ukraine the workshop took place in the regional centre Manevich and was organized by Eco Club. The venue was offered by the regional authorities. The participants came from different villages.

The manual can be used as a tool box and appropriate exercises can be selected by the implementing organisation and adapted to the needs of the target group. Sessions can be organized with mixed stakeholders, or selected groups of people. Most exercises are also very suitable to be conducted by older school children as a research project.
In the frame of this project the methodologies will be used for awareness raising days, needs assessment and participatory monitoring in 12 communities in Georgia and Ukraine and later on in 4 other neighbouring countries.

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